Activity for the week of 29 December-4 January 2005
The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 2300 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.
New Activity / Unrest
| Andaman Islands (India)
| 12.278°N, 93.858°E
| Elevation 354 m
Reports of increased volcanic activity at Barren Island and Narcondam volcanoes during the week of 2 January were found to be false. Professor Chandrasekharam from the Indian Institute of Technology reported that as of 4 January no unusual volcanic activity was occurring at these volcanic islands. Newspaper reports of active "mud volcanoes" in the Andaman Islands caused a great deal of concern and confusion.
Backgrounds. Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S-trending volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). The 354-m-high island is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2,250 m. The small, uninhabited 3-km-wide island contains a roughly 2-km-wide caldera with walls 250-350 m high. The caldera, which is open to the sea on the W, was created during a major explosive eruption in the late Pleistocene that produced pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits. The morphology of a fresh pyroclastic cone that was constructed in the center of the caldera has varied during the course of historical eruptions. Lava flows fill much of the caldera floor and have reached the sea along the western coast during eruptions in the 19th century and more recently in 1991 and 1995.
Narcondum volcano, an island possession of India in the Andaman Sea, is part of a volcanic arc that continues northward from Sumatra to Burma (Myanmar). The small 3 x 4 km wide conical island, located about 130 km E of North Andaman Island, rises to 710 m, but its base lies an additional 1,000 m beneath the sea. The island is densely vegetated, bounded by cliffs on the southern side, and capped by three peaks. No evidence of historical volcanism is present, although the summit region is less densely vegetated and volcanism at the andesitic volcano is considered to have continued into the Holocene. The island's name means "pit of hell," although the name could have been mistakenly transferred from the historically active Barren Island volcano, 140 km to the SSW.
Source: Professor Chandrasekharam from the Indian Institute of Technology
| United States
| 56.17°N, 159.38°W
| Elevation 2507 m
AVO raised the Concern Color Code at Veniaminof from Green to Yellow on 4 January because around that time several small ash emissions from the volcano's intracaldera cone were observed on the Internet camera in Perryville. Ash emissions were visible starting around 0938, but may have been obscured by meteorological clouds in previous images. The discrete ash emissions were small, rose hundreds of meters above the cone, and dissipated as they drifted E. Minor ash fall was probably confined to the summit caldera. Very weak seismic tremor was recorded beginning on 1 January, and increased slightly over the next 2 days. These seismic signals were similar to those recorded during steam-and-ash emissions in April to October, 2004. However, there were no indications from seismic data that events significantly larger than those observed around 4 January are imminent. AVO expects that steam-and-ash emissions may continue intermittently and could pose a hazard to people and low-flying aircraft in the vicinity of the active cone.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
According to the Washington VAAC, on 30 December an ash plume was visible at Colima on satellite imagery. The plume rose to ~7 km a.s.l. and extended as far as ~37 km E. Late on 30 December a second steam-and-ash plume rose to ~7 km a.s.l. and extended E. On 1 January an eruption produced a steam-and-ash plume that reached ~5.5 km a.s.l. and extended ~33 km N.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
On 28 December, an observed eruption at Karymsky produced a plume composed primarily of gas and steam, but with some ash, that rose to ~1 km above the crater. Thermal anomalies were also visible on satellite imagery on 27 and 28 December. On 30 December the Tokyo VAAC reported that a plume was present up to ~8 km a.s.l. and extending SW. Karymsky remained at Concern Color Code Orange.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 3-4 January, surface lava flows were visible at Kilauea along the PKK lava flow on the Pulama pali fault scarp and on the coast. Summit seismicity remained low on both days with only a few long-period earthquakes recorded per day, and weak-to-absent background tremor. At Pu`u `O`o cone tremor remained at moderate levels, with periods of slight inflation and deflation recorded.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Papua New Guinea
| 4.08°S, 145.037°E
| Elevation 1807 m
On 29 December the Darwin VAAC, based on information from RVO, reported that Manam was at Alert Level 2, a reduction from the previous Alert Level 3. During 1-4 January, Manam produced variable emissions.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
During 23-28 December, seismicity decreased slightly at Shiveluch but remained above background levels. Seismicity indicated that possible ash-and-gas explosions occurred on 26 and 27 December and plumes may have risen as high as ~4 km a.s.l. Observed explosions also occurred on 26 and 27 December that produced gas-and-ash explosions to ~2 km above the lava dome. Possible weak gas-and-ash explosions accompanied by hot avalanches occurred throughout the report period. On 28 December a gas-and-steam plume extended as far as 50 km E. Shiveluch remained at Concern Color Code Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
During 24-31 December, one long-period, six hybrid, and two volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded at Soufrière Hills. The sulfur-dioxide flux averaged 410 metric tons per day and ranged between 300 and 550 metric tons per day.
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| United States
| 61.299°N, 152.251°W
| Elevation 3374 m
Seismic unrest continued at Spurr during 26-31 December, with an average of 5-6 earthquakes recorded per day. A distinct increase in seismicity occurred on 26 December when 25 earthquakes were recorded. Spurr remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| United States
| 46.2°N, 122.18°W
| Elevation 2549 m
Lava-dome growth continued at St. Helens during 28 December to 4 January. Observations on 3-4 January indicated that the new dome, with the exception of the northern-most portion, was becoming heavily fractured and faulted. GPS data showed that expansion of the rear part of the dome had slowed to a rate of only a few meters per day. Seismicity decreased dramatically during 29-30 December, reaching the lowest levels recorded since dome building began. This lull continued through 4 January. St. Helens remained at Volcano Advisory (Alert Level 2); aviation color code Orange.
Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 29.638°N, 129.714°E
| Elevation 796 m
On 29 December, the Tokyo VAAC reported an eruption at Suwanose-jima that produced an ash plume to ~1.2 km a.s.l. Eruptions were also reported on 1 and 4 January, but no plumes were visible on satellite imagery.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
On 2 January, Tungurahua remained at a low level of activity with weak gas-and-steam emissions containing only a moderate amount of ash. Two small explosions were recorded.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
News Feeds and Google Placemarks
The RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website.
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A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report can be loaded into the free Google Earth software, and in turn will load placemarks for volcanoes in the current weekly report. Placemark balloons include the volcano name, report date, report text, sources, and links back to the GVP volcano page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.
Criteria & Disclaimers
The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report does not necessarily include all volcanic activity that occurred on Earth during the week. More than a dozen volcanoes globally have displayed more-or-less continuous eruptive activity for decades or longer, and such routine activity is typically not reported here. Moreover, Earth's sea-floor volcanism is seldom reported even though in theory it represents the single most prolific source of erupted material. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report summarizes volcanic activity that meets one or more of the following criteria:
- A volcano observatory raises or lowers the alert level at the volcano.
- A volcanic ash advisory has been released by a volcanic ash advisory center (VAAC) stating that an ash cloud has been produced from the volcano.
- A verifiable news report of new activity or a change in activity at the volcano has been issued.
- Observers have reported a significant change in volcanic activity. Such activity can include, but is not restricted to, pyroclastic flows, lahars, lava flows, dome collapse, or increased unrest.
Volcanoes are included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report if the activity occurs after at least 3 months of quiescence. Once a volcano is included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section, updates will remain in that section unless the activity continues for more than 1 month without escalating, after which time updates will be listed in the "Continuing Activity" section. Volcanoes are also included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section if the volcano is undergoing a period of relatively high unrest, or increasing unrest. This is commonly equal to Alert Level Orange on a scale of Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, where Red is the highest alert. Or alert level 3 on a scale of 1-4 or 1-5.
It is important to note that volcanic activity meeting one or more of these criteria may occur during the week, but may not be included in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report because we did not receive a report.
1. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is intended to provide timely information about global volcanism on a weekly basis. Consequently, the report is generated rapidly by summarizing volcanic reports from various sources, with little time for fact checking. The accuracy of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is dependent upon the quality of the volcanic activity reports we receive. Reports published in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network are monthly, and more carefully reviewed, although all of the volcanoes discussed in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report are not necessarily reported in the Bulletin. Because of our emphasis on rapid reporting on the web we have avoided diacritical marks. Reports are updated on the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report web page as they are received, therefore information may be included regarding events that occurred before the current report period.
2. Rapidly developing events lead to coverage that is often fragmentary. Volcanoes, their eruptions, and their plumes and associated atmospheric effects are complex phenomena that may require months to years of data analysis in order to create a comprehensive summary and interpretation of events.
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RSS and CAP Feeds
An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report first made available on 5 March 2008 can be utilized with the aid of various free downloadable readers. The report content of the news feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website. On 12 March 2009, GeoRSS tags were added so that the latitude and longitude for each volcano could be included with the feed.
At the end of each individual report is a list of the sources used. We would like to emphasize that the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) website (http://www.wovo.org/) lists the regional volcano observatories that have the most authoritative data for many of these events.
CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management.
Google Earth Placemarks
A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report was first made available on 1 April 2009. This file can be loaded into the free Google Earth software, and in turn will load placemarks for volcanoes in the current weekly report. Placemark balloons include the volcano name, report date, report text, sources, and links back to the GVP volcano page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.